Epicure RESTAURANT REVIEW | Sunday Observer

Epicure RESTAURANT REVIEW

After a long week, a Friday night out is a much needed break. A friend of mine told me about a new venue that has opened at Gregory’s Place, Colombo 7. Nestled next to a diplomatic mission the Epicure is an oasis - where it turned out we were able to really understand and connect with what we ate. Wendell Ribeira co-owner, is a pragmatic soul: greeting each guest and explaining the culinary concept of his new venture along with Robert Jayatunga.

The interior designed by Minha Musheen, resonates with exotic palm prints and ferns suspended from the ceiling. Subdued yellow lights accentuate the aura of this extremely cozy venue. Wendell is one of the very few I have seen who is passionate about the food served, as he has trained his staff along with Head Chef Sugath Gunasekera. It was immediately obvious that this was not a “food business” but a culinary lifestyle for the two men.

The Restaurant brought back memories of the famed Attica Restaurant in Melbourne. The water served at Epicure has a novel element: a live mint plant inside the bottle, which imparts a gentle refreshing aftertaste. The entire menu reflects the concept, “from farm to table” which is very good. A chef must know the freshness of each ingredient. The N Dujo Tartine served with pork sausage and quail egg along with sourdough bread was a lovely starter. The bread was perfect, a nice contrast to the regular bread rolls. Another round of bread with olive tapenade sealed in the flavours.

Epicure has given a brilliant twist to the humble olive: creating a dish with green and calametta olives which release intense flavours and supplements the starters. The next item Gambas al Ajillos which consists of garlic olive oil, chili, rock salt on toasted bread was nice, although the rock salt was mildly strong to the Sri Lankan palate.

The Laab Tartar originating from Thailand was bestowed with taste: the dish is very unique, minced beef mixed by hand and cooked in the vapour of lime along with a raw quail egg and roasted rice. The attention to detail and presentation at Epicure is a reflection of creative young Chef Sugath.

We begin to feel a bit full when the main course arrives, seared duck with a risotto and truffles: prepared with a curry rub. It was a nice contrast to other forms of poultry.

The Epicure has some amazing dishes including their Rainbow Lobster, pan fried Barramundi and U 12 prawns. After this blissful indulgence Wendell insists we try not one but two desserts: a raspberry soufflé and the other spicy chocolate fondant with dark chocolate and hazelnut.

The spicy chocolate is actually cooked with the skin of chilli making this one of Colombo’s best desserts. Thus, the Epicure delivers a beautiful casual fine dining experience. The venue has 54 covers at present and hopes to expand to 140 in the near future. 

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